unfortunate luck....bent forks xr650L, sigh

I like to make sure to compress the forks a couple of times before I tighten the axle picnh clamp. If I squeeze the forks tight to the wheel spacer I get some binding too.

Tirebiter, thanks for the help. I did loosen the big nut on the top tree but could not figure out how to tighten it without turning the bars all the way to the right. How are you holding the top tree when you tighten this nut? Theres gotta be a trick to doing this.

Ghoti, I'm experiencing the same thing you are. After I tighten the axle the right fork doesnt want to sit tight against the speedo. Maybe this is normal.

All I can say right now is I'm sorta happy all of this happened. I've learned alot about my bike in the last couple of days. If none of this would have happened I'd be clueless about working on the front end of my bike.

one other tip, don't look for any kind of special brake or clutch levers that are indestructible. simply leave the clamps loose enough on your handlebars so that when you fall they pivot. there is the odd chance you can still break one and in that case you can get the kind that can flip forward? can't remember names or brands but they make 'em

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